Fast facts for the coffee stop: Paris Roubaix

The Arenberg forest is regarded as one of the toughest parts of the course

The Arenberg forest is regarded as one of the toughest parts of the course

It's the famously tough Paris-Roubaix on Sunday (April 10) so we found a couple of facts for you to impress the club ride at the cafe stop. You can even print it off if you're that way inclined.

  • The 253.5km race is variously known as the Queen of the Classics or the Hell of the North. People believe the second name relates to the tough nature of the course but was actually the name given to it by riders of the 1919 race which was the first to take place after the Great War when the area was nothing more than a charred battlefield.

  • Despite its name the race has started in Compiègne, about 80km north of Paris since 1968.

  • The race contains 52.7km of cobbles over 27 sectors, the worst sector unanimously considered to be the 2.4km long Arenberg forest stretch.

  • The most races won is four, a number shared by Roger De Vlaeminck (1972, ’74-’75, ’77) and Tom Boonen (2005, ’08-09, ’12).

  • Despite the image of riders battling it out in bad weather, it has been 14 years since it rained on the day of the race.